Sometimes, for whatever reason, we would have one or two felled coconut trees. When we were building, we had to clear some areas and there were a couple of trees, especially coconuts that were in the way.
Now I'm not sure if many people know where the úbod in fresh lumpiâ comes from. I somehow knew before that it's a coconut by-product and figured that, I guess it comes from the coconut itself (which, by the way, is not a nut but that's a totally different story altogether).
It turns out that úbod is Tagalog for pith, the young core of the trunk of the coconut tree (or the banana, whose ubod can be eaten too). On the right, we chopped off the top part of the felled tree (background) and skinned the bark to get the pith (lower part/foreground).
It's very nutritious to eat, fibrous (since this is what will become coco lumber in time), and filling. Imagine: from the roots underground, the tree absorbs water and nutrients, goes up the pith, and into the leaves, the flowers, and into the coconuts. Amazing.
Traditionally, we cook it as lumpiâ filling, sauteed and mixed with some kincháy (something like flat parsley) and small shrimps, to flavor. Anyone out there who has some new recipe to share?